Beauty and Beastly by Melanie Karsak, Review


Beauty and Beastly (Steampunk Fairy Tales Series)

Author: Melanie Karsak

Pages: 162

Genre: Steampunk, romance

Rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon


In this tale as old as time, Isabella Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.

When Isabelle and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle was thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkers, and studying new ways to manipulate mechanicals sounded like a dream. But an unexpected gale turns the waters violent, and the ship is lost. Isabelle survives the tempest only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly-deserted island. Dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, the haunting place hints of a magical past. Isabelle may be an unwitting guest, but her arrival at the forgotten citadel heralds a new beginning for the beastly residents inside.

Beauty and Beastly is a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale set in 1814 Regency England.


I can’t express how much I loved this book!

I read a lot of retelling in the past years, I even partecipate in a challenge based on retellings, and I never found one that I really really like. For example: I like the idea of Dorothy Must Die, but I didn’t like the MC.

But Isabelle Hawking is a great main character! She’s strong, and intelligent, she doesn’t despise the other girls, and she creates wonderful creations made of metal and music.

“How dare you presume to pick my rose. A rose by any other name would still spell damnation for us all.”

First of all: some of the chapters title are the same of the famous songs from the movies! I don’t know you, but I sing those songs a lot. No, I’m not a good singer.

Second: the author has turn down the Stockolm syndrome tipically associated with this tale. So we don’t have a Beast very angry, and bad and violent with Isabelle, and she isn’t a passive character. This is so important to me, because Melanie Karsak spread a great message with that: violence is not love.

Obviously, there is romance in this book, and drama and adventure, all mixed. I’m not a romantic girl, but I found it so cute!

The world that the author has written is beautiful: I have a special place in my heart for steampunk settings, and this is incredible. Just imagine the castle where the beast live, like in the last movie, but all made in metal, and clockwork. To this world, add some airship, fairies and Celtic folklore.


All the female characters in the book are great: the fairy that has cast the spell on the castle, Isabelle, and Lily, an amazing airship’s captain that has her own adventure in another book, “Chasing The Star Garden”.


Other books in the series:

Curiouser and Curiouser

Ice and Embers


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